Chapter 5


On 8 November 1990 President George H. Bush announced that the United States would send additional armed forces to Southwest Asia to provide the coalition with a ground offensive option. Until that point the United States and its coalition partners had concentrated on the deployment of enough troops and materiel to safeguard Saudi Arabia from attack by Iraq. Now, if economic sanctions proved insufficient to dislodge President Saddam Hussein's occupying forces from Kuwait, Bush wanted the capability to launch an attack. To this end, U.S. Army planners now began preparing for one of the most impressive offensive operations of modern times.

Ground Offensive Option

As early as the Camp David meeting on 4-5 August, two days after the invasion, General Schwarzkopf had raised the possibility of an attack on the Iraqis. At that time he estimated that he would need eight to twelve months to assemble the necessary forces. Already, the plans section at the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) was investigating specific courses of action for such an offensive. At this early date, however, Central Command was so involved with the deployment to Saudi Arabia that it could not devote much time or thought to an offensive movement.1

Real planning for the offensive started in mid-September. To focus the process and ensure secrecy at a time when leaks might have touched off a preemptive Iraqi strike or disrupted the fragile coalition, General Schwarzkopf decided to form a special planning cell within Central Command. He asked Army Chief of Staff General Carl E. Vuono to send four graduates of the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies. This element of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was, according to Col. Richard M. Swain, the U.S. Army Central Command (ARCENT) historian, "the Army's premier school of the operational art." Lt. Col. Joseph H. Purvis, Maj. Gregory M. Eckhart, Maj. William S. Pennypacker, and Maj. Daniel J. Roh arrived in Saudi Arabia on 16 September. They met two days later with Schwarzkopf, who sketched his rough concept of a campaign to oust the Iraqis from Kuwait.


He envisioned a thrust across the Kuwaiti frontier toward the Ar Rawdatayn oil fields, cutting the main north-south route from Kuwait City to the Iraqi border. He placed almost no constraints on the group, beyond limiting their consideration to available forces in the theater, but asked that they look at the problem and report back to him.2

The four officers agreed that the environment posed enormous obstacles. West of the coastal flats, the terrain along the Saudi border consisted largely of a vast stony plain, cut by infrequent wadies, streambeds that were dry for most of the year but occasionally filled with the runoff from torrential rains. Farther west, beyond the triborder area of Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, that plain gave way to wide sandy stretches of almost featureless desert, sparsely inhabited except by pastoral nomads. Temperatures during the summer reached as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, although they dropped to the 50's and 60's in January and February

During the winter the occasional rains could turn desert sand into a quagmire for men and vehicles. Annual rainfall followed the dry pattern of desert regions-only three to seven inches-with about 90 percent coming in the November-April period, the season of DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Brief periods of concentrated rainfall produced the wadies. Several large ones extended across the Iraqi-Saudi border on a northeast-southwest axis. These long straight depressions had long raised concerns about invasion among peoples of the region, especially among the Saudis since the development of their oil resources. One in particular, the Wadi al Batin, formed the western border of Kuwait and extended 150 miles on a straight line to the southwest into Saudi Arabia.

Winds whipped the talcum-fine sand at almost hurricane force for hours at a time, cutting visibility and rendering life almost intolerable. The southern and southeasterlysharqi, a dry wind that occurred from April to early June and again from late September through November, gusted to over 50 miles an hour and raised dust storms several thousand feet high. The northern and northwesterly shamal brought a more continuous wind of lower velocity from mid-June to mid-September.

If the climate could make desert operations uncomfortable, the vast distances and lack of transport could make them practically impossible. From the port city of Ad Dammam, the key base of King Khalid Military City lay 334 to 528 miles away, depending on whether one used the northern or southern route, and the village of Rafha, from which flank units of XVIII Airborne Corps would launch their attack, lay 502 to 696 miles away. In contrast, the famed Red Ball Express of World War II covered a round trip of 746 miles. 3

Assuming American troops could overcome such environmental conditions, they still would need to defeat an enemy force of more than one million soldiers. In the last two years of the Iran-lraq war the Iraqi Army had impressed observers with its flexibility, centralized command structure, and ability to coordinate large-unit operations over great distances. Its General Headquarters supervised up to ten corps headquarters, which


Map 8 Iraqi Dispositions Late September 1990

not only performed administrative and logistical tasks but also fought the battles. Each corps directed as many as ten armored, mechanized, or infantry divisions, depending on the tactical situation. The brigade was normally the smallest unit to operate independently. Also subordinate to the General Headquarters but separate from the regulars was the corps size Republican Guard Forces Command, the shock troops of Iraq's military. Originally created to protect the government, its tanks, mechanized infantry, infantry, and special forces had done well in the Iran-lraq war as a theater reserve for counterattacking Iranian breakthroughs. The Iraqi Army's 4,500 main battle tanks included about 500 Soviet T-72s. Its artillery of 3,200 guns included the massive South African 155-mm. G-5s that far outranged any comparable weapon in the U.S. inventory. With time, Iraqi weaknesses in morale, equipment, training, and initia-


Iraqi Fortifications around Kuwait City

Iraqi Fortifications around Kuwait City

Iraqi Fortifications around Kuwait City. A front-line communications trench connected tank firing positions along the beach to defend against an amphibious assault that never materialized.


tive at lower levels would become evident. But in September 1990 the Iraqi Army enjoyed a reputation as one of the best equipped, most combat-hardened forces in the world. 4

While the Iraqis had developed some offensive skills by the end of the Iran-Iraq war and Iraqi doctrine paid lip service to the primacy of the offensive, the Iraqi Army remained essentially a defensive force that thought in linear terms. Iraqi defensive tactics demonstrated the influence of Soviet doctrine, with its emphasis on obstacles, mutual fire support, and preplanned kill zones. Generally, the Iraqis prepared defenses in depth, positioning two units forward and one back to create a triangular kill zone in which artillery and armor could hammer any unit that broke through the front lines. Occasionally, the artillery would use chemical weapons, especially mustard and nerve agents, but these weapons remained under tight presidential control and were not an integral part of corps or lower level plans. Interestingly, in view of later events, the Iraqi logistical organization had earned a fair amount of respect from Western observers for its ability to supply units over long distances. In keeping with the centralized command structure, higher headquarters "pushed down" supplies to corps depots, from which the corps distributed them to the divisions. 5

Saddam Hussein's August offensive into Kuwait with Republican Guard, mechanized, and special forces had caused grave concern in Washington and Riyadh over whether the Iraqis would continue their drive south into Saudi Arabia. Some of the initial apprehension abated in the ensuing weeks. According to U.S. intelligence information for mid- to late September, the Iraqis were repositioning their troops and constructing fortifications for a defense of Kuwait. The reports noted infantry units taking the place of mechanized formations along the border, with mechanized troops moving into immediate reserve, and the Republican Guard redeploying into theater reserve, just north of the Iraq-Kuwait border. Iraqi engineers were building roads to support the new deployment and developing a front-line system of triangular strongpoints fronted by wire, minefields, six- to fifteen-foot sand berms, and forty-foot tank ditches.

The coalition tidal wave
The coalition tidal wave. This psychological operations leaflet, printed for distribution among Iraqi forces in Kuwait, reinforced the impression that coalition forces would attempt a massive amphibious assault.


This defensive system extended west of the triborder area. Any attack on these works promised to be a bloody venture. 6

Inadequate Capabilities

Such was the task facing Colonel Purvis' special planning cell as it started its deliberations. The planners began with the objectives of the operation: ousting the Iraqis from Kuwait and reinstating Kuwait's legitimate government, destroying the Iraqi ground forces' offensive capability, and restoring the regional balance of power. To achieve these goals, they assumed that they would have the support of coalition forces, as well as all of the forces of XVIII Airborne Corps-the 82d Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 1st Cavalry Division (Armored), and the 3d Armored Cavalry. Even with coalition backing, however, the planners realized that allied forces lacked the clear superiority traditionally required by an attacking force, and they were well aware of the need to minimize friendIy losses. So they concluded that any plan with a fair chance of success had to bypass centers of Iraqi resistance and use air power to cut in half

Map 9 Initial Concept of Operations One Corps October 1990


the enemy's strength before the start of the ground war. Already, they were attracted by the open Iraqi western flank; but, given the limited available forces and great distances, they felt that a wide swing around the flank would leave XVIII Airborne Corps isolated at the end of a long uncertain line of communications.

The initial plan presented to General Schwarzkopf on 6 October had all the appearances of a bloody frontal assault. The one that he approved called for a shallow envelopment between the triborder area and the elbow of Kuwait, driving north and east to the main north-south highway in the area of Al Jahrah with an option to continue on to the Ar Rawdatayn oil fields and the northern Kuwait-lraq border. Although bypassing Iraqi strongpoints, the proposed attack would still encounter key Iraqi ground units. No one seemed to have been comfortable with the plan, and Schwarzkopf indicated this to his superiors in Washington. When CENTCOM chief of staff Marine Maj. Gen. Robert B. Johnston and his team presented the concept to President Bush, Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 10-11 October, they were told to develop it further, requesting more resources if necessary. 7

The Flanking Movement

Directed by General Schwarzkopf to work on both a two-corps and a one-corps concept, Colonel Purvis' special planning cell looked hard at options for much wider flanking movements. Assuming availability of a second corps, the biggest hurdle was logistical, especially the distances involved, transportation, storage, and the ability of the desert floor to support the mass movement of heavy vehicles. Maps and other data on the area of operations were scarce, and efforts to gather information faced the twin obstacles of secrecy and the embryonic status of the Army's intelligence-gathering apparatus in the theater. The planners compensated for the lack of information with their own examinations of the terrain. Purvis, Pennypacker, Eckhart, and Roh, joined by CENTCOM staff members and Saudis, flew over, drove, or walked portions of the area of operations. More information came from photographic analyses and conversations with Bedouins. Meanwhile, XVIII Airborne Corps tested the ability of heavy vehicles to maneuver northwest of Uafar al Batin. From the intelligence community, notably the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade, which had just arrived in Saudi Arabia, the planners got detailed terrain analyses and data on the Iraqi order of battle. Fortunately for the secrecy of their own work, they found that fellow graduates of the School of Advanced Military Studies at many CENTCOM levels were willing to share information without asking too many probing questions. 8

By late October the plan for the envelopment was taking shape. General Schwarzkopf took an active role in the planning process. Through frequent conferences with Purvis, Pennypacker, Eckhart, and


Roh, he heard their ideas and provided his own thoughts and direction for development of the concept. As a result of his influence, the plan focused on destruction of the Republican Guard as the main operational objective of the ground attack. To do this, the planners had discarded as too costly an amphibious assault on the heavily fortified Kuwaiti coast. Instead, two corps would drive across southern Iraq, west of Kuwait, to cut Iraqi communications at the key transportation center of An Na,sinyah on the Euphrates River. Trapped within the pocket created by this envelopment, the Republican Guard could then be destroyed at leisure by air and artillery fire. While several logistical problems remained to be solved, the plan appeared feasible. 9

On 22 October, during General Colin Powell's visit to Central Command, the planners presented the concept to the Joint Chiefs chairman, who agreed to back the command's request for a second corps. Shortly thereafter in Washington, both Powell and Cheney decided that, in addition to a European-based corps, other forces should also be deployed. These included the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), three additional aircraft carrier battle groups, a battleship, the corps-size I Marine Expeditionary Force, and the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Decision on Reinforcements

Four days after General Powell had met with General Schwarzkopf, Secretary Cheney held a special news briefing to announce the administration's decision to augment U.S forces in the Persian Gulf. Neither the exact number of additional troops nor the date for the completion of the buildup had been selected. These determinations, the secretary made clear, would also be made by President Bush.

On 30 October Cheney and Powell briefed the president on the reinforcements option, but told him that the new buildup could not be completed until 15 January 1991. The following day, at a meeting attended by Cheney, Powell, National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu, Bush formally approved the idea. Concerned about adverse public reaction, he delayed making the decision public until after the 6 November congressional elections.10· At a news briefing on the afternoon of 8 November President Bush publicly announced his decision to increase troop strength in Southwest Asia to ensure "an adequate offensive military option." 11

Secretary Cheney signed the deployment orders that day The augmentation required a major call-up of Army Reserve and Army National Guard units in all fifty states. Among the National Guard units eventually federalized were the 48th Infantry Brigade from Georgia; the 155th Armored Brigade from Mississippi; the 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) from Louisiana; the 142d Field Artillery Brigade from Arkansas and Oklahoma; and the 196th Field Artillery Brigade from Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The reinforcements package also cut in half the U.S. Army's divi-


sional strength in Europe by ordering the redeployment of one of the two Army corps stationed there. Those units selected to deploy from Germany included the VII Corps headquarters, stationed in Stuttgart; the 1st Armored Division in Ansbach; the 3d Brigade, 2d Armored Division (Forward) in Garlstedt; the 3d Armored Division in Frankfurt; the 2d Armored Cavalry in Nuremberg; the 11th Aviation Brigade in Illesheim; and the 2d Support Command (Corps) in Stuttgart. In addition, the 1st Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, also received deployment orders.12 The decision to send two additional armored divisions eventually raised the level of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region to over 400,00.

About a week later Lt. Gen. Jimmy D. Ross, the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics, raised again the issue of activating the 377th Theater Army Area Command. In his message of 14 November to Lt. Gen. John J. Yeosock, the ARCENT commander, he suggested that activation was the doctrinally sound approach. Ross acknowledged that the new headquarters would cause some immediate disruption, but he contended that the robust organization had been designed, staffed, and trained to support the larger operational force being built and would pay dividends in the long run. By this time the Provisional Support Command in Saudi Arabia had been in operation for three months, and the theater commanders remained uninterested in utilizing the 377th. Although the headquarters was never activated, Forces Command (FORSCOM) drew heavily on the units in its Capstone trace. By the middle of November fifty-five of the 377th's subordinate units were mobilized, with more to come. 13


Discussions of the possible use of units based in Europe for DESERT SHIELD dated from early August, when Department of the Army planners had asked for redeployment of combat support and combat service support units from Germany to Saudi Arabia. With the precedent for deployment of American forces from duty with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) already established, the Army could consider using not only its I and III Corps from the United States but also its V and VII Corps from Germany.

Deployment from Europe offered numerous advantages. The corps were nearer to the theater of operations and had greater combat power, based on their readiness, size, and possession of the most modern equipment in the Army's inventory, such as the Abrams tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, and the Apache helicopter. In addition, the deployment afforded General Vuono the opportunity to accelerate the inevitable reduction of American forces in Europe. General Crosbie E. Saint, who commanded U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR), and Seventh Army, supported participation of USAREUR units in any possible crisis. 14

But the move presented problems. A forward-deployed corps had never carried out a deployment of the kind and magnitude contemplat


ed by General Saint. Furthermore, VII Corps was neither structured for nor assigned a role in major out-of-theater contingencies. By deployment standards set by troops based in the United States, the movement from Germany would be unique. Unlike other transfers, in which units tended to be located on a single installation, USAREUR units came from several posts and numerous small communities. Such dispersion would complicate any relocation. 15

Anchored by dependence on host nation support and fixed facilities for logistics, the corps also had responsibility for a network of military communities across southern Germany, supporting more than 92,000 soldiers and their families. Any deployment involved major challenges. The deploying corps would have to leave behind adequate means to take care of families and communities. They also had to move the soldiers and equipment to the Middle East as quickly as possible, allowing them time to assemble at arrival ports, collect equipment, deploy into the tactical assembly areas, equip and organize themselves for combat operations, and prepare and train for battle. 16

While the U.S. Army, Europe, prepared for a possible deployment, ongoing developments affected the troops in Germany. General Saint and his staff were planning to close about 100 installations, to return facilities and other properties to the German government, and to restructure the residual force into a single combat-ready corps able to operate under NATO agreements. Accordingly, about twenty-one battalions were preparing to stand down, to turn in their equipment and property, and to return to the United States as a result of an arms reduction agreement between NATO and Warsaw Pact nations. In September 1990 the Department of Defense had announced the first units scheduled to leave Europe; some of those departures were set for as early as 1 March 1991 and others for 1 May. In anticipation of the reduction, U.S. Army, Europe, already had plans to withdraw the remaining contingents. Considerations for selecting units for deployment included plans for withdrawing selected units as well as capabilities, recent training, and the status of equipment modemization. 17

In early September General Saint began planning for the possible deployment of his forces, either on rotation or as reinforcements, for units in the Persian Gulf. While the United States Transportation Command, alerted by the Army Staff that a European corps might later go to Southwest Asia, began considering how to position its vessels to carry out such a deployment, Saint entrusted early planning to his deputy chief of staff for operations, Maj. Gen. John C. Heldstab, and to USAREUR's Conventional Forces, Europe, Division. Because the division had responsibility for planning the drawdown of forces from Europe, the staff maintained a detailed computer data base on all U.S. Army units in Europe and knew which units were well trained, as well as the types and quantities of equipment each had. Since any deployment planning had to consider which units to leave in Europe, which to send home for drawdown, and the status of training and equipment of those units that might


be deployed, the planners closely scrutinized the selection of those units that eventually deployed.18 By late October, with the concurrence of General John R. Galvin, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander in Chief, United States European Command, Generals Saint and Heldstab developed the preliminary force package for an anticipated announcement on 2 November. 19

Gen. Frederick M. Franks, Jr.

Gen. Frederick M. Franks, Jr.
(Rank as of 23 August 1993)

On 2 and 3 November Secretary of the Army Michael P. W. Stone visited the U.S. Army, Europe, on his way to Saudi Arabia. He met with General Saint and the VII Corps commanding general, Lt. Gen. Frederick M. Franks, Jr., a taciturn, highly decorated tanker who had lost a leg in Vietnam. Presumably, at that meeting, the secretary discussed the completed draft of the force package. Also, at a luncheon attended only by a few officers, he probably alerted the two commanders of the president's upcoming announcement on the eighth. 20

The day after Secretary Stone left, Generals Franks and Saint discussed the final organization of the corps units selected to deploy. Saint asked Franks to convene a small planning cell to determine the final force package and to begin deployment planning. USAREUR and VII Corps planners eventually settled on a force package with an atypical corps structure. They developed a heavy corps, organized around two heavy divisions of V and VII Corps units and other theater assets, that provided the types of units lacking in XVIII Airborne Corps. In particular, the inclusion of the 3d Armored Division, a V Corps unit with MlA1 Abrams tanks in its inventory, provided more armor than currently existed in other VII Corps units.21 Its deployment rather than the VII Corps' 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) also left an infantry unit in the Wuerzberg area so that southern Germany was not stripped totally of combat troops.

Because of time differences, President Bush's 8 November evening address to the nation was heard in Europe during the early morning hours of 9 November. Upon official notification, General Saint immediately issued a warning order. Within two days Deployment Order 22 was issued to participating units.

On 9 November General Franks held a commanders conference to give training guidance to the deploying units, as well as to begin planning for the base organization that would stay behind. The day after the conference, key VII Corps commanders departed for a reconnaissance trip to Saudi Arabia. Franks went to the Persian Gulf a few days later to talk with Schwarzkopf. At a 13 November strategy meeting of the CENTCOM staff Schwarzkopf told Franks his mission would be to attack the Republican Guard, an assignment that did not change once the ground war began. While in Riyadh Franks also discussed potential deployment problems with General Yeosock and Maj. Gen. William G. Pagonis, commander of the Provisional Support Command. After returning to Germany, the VII Corps commander formed a small tactical planning cell to outline the plan for the attack on the Republican Guard. On 5 December Yeosock and Franks reviewed the proposed draft. A CENTCOM briefing


3d Armored Division troops combat the ubiquitous desert dust

3d Armored Division troops combat the ubiquitous desert dust by performing daily maintenance on their M1A1s

on the tactical plans was scheduled for Cheney and Powell on 15 December, and General Franks, together with his primary staff, returned to Saudi Arabia on the fourteenth.22

Meanwhile, a VII Corps liaison team met with General Yeosock's staff in Riyadh about planning and controlling the identification and movement of the deploying force.23 Thereafter, an ARCENT briefing team went to Germany to look into deployment priorities. The ARCENT team suggested that VII Corps adopt a movement sequence that began with a VII Corps tactical advance party. Next would come combat support and combat service support units, the 2d Armored Cavalry, the 7th Engineer Brigade, additional combat support and combat service support units, the 1st Armored Division, the 11th Aviation Brigade, VII Corps Headquarters and Headquarters Company, VII Corps Artillery, the 2d Armored Division (Forward), and, finally, the V Corps' 3d Armored Division.24 In the only change made to the recommended priority list, General Saint decided to send the 2d Armored Cavalry to Saudi Arabia first. The regiment, a self-contained unit, could deploy immediately to set up assembly areas and prepare to receive the rest of the corps.25

With the movement sequence in place, USAREUR and VII Corps planners arranged for the deployments. Preparing for the large movement was not a new experience for U.S. Army, Europe. Beginning in 1967, soldiers from combat divisions in the United States had flown into European airports for twenty-one REFORGER exercises, conducted in response to the threat of a Warsaw Pact attack against NATO forces


in what was then West Germany. Subsequently, they picked up unit equipment that had been shipped into the Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Bremerhaven seaports, as well as unit gear-Pre-positioned Organizational Materiel Configured in Unit Sets (POMCUS)-that had been stored in Europe. For deployment to Southwest Asia the process would be reversed, with some changes. Yet the similarity to REFORGER exercises was so apparent that the soldiers and allies dubbed the movement DEFORGER 90.26 Phase I commenced in August with the deployment of USAREUR units to Saudi Arabia.27 Although modest in scale, it provided practical experience for Phase II in November-December with the deployment of VII Corps.

The 1st Transportation Agency (Movement Control) supervised the Phase 11 movement. The agency staff decided the mode of transportation to be used and served as the USAREUR manager for competing demands on the transportation system. The Military Traffic Management Command, Europe, chose ports and ordered and loaded the ships. The 21st Theater Army Area Command (TAACOM) operated the support areas at the ports and staging areas and provided the link in host nation support matters. To do this job, the 21st joined forces with its old REFORGER partners, the Military Sealift Command and the Military Traffic Management Command.28 Since VII Corps deployed its corps movement control center, most of its logistical staff, and its 2d Support Command to Southwest Asia early, USAREUR deputy chief of staff for logistics, Maj. Gen. Joseph S. Laposata, along with the 1st Transportation Agency commander and other key staff officers, went to Vll Corps headquarters to coordinate the movement of equipment. General Heldstab also went to Stuttgart to establish and oversee an air movement control center, which helped arrange the transfer of soldiers from Germany to Saudi Arabia.29

In about seven weeks the U.S. Army, Europe, moved more than 122,000 soldiers and civilians and 50,500 pieces of equipment from Germany to Saudi Arabia. The tight schedule, coupled with the unpredictable German winter weather conditions, made it essential to use all available modes of transportation. Thousands of tracked and wheeled vehicles, hundreds of aircraft, and tons of equipment and supplies deployed every way possible-421 barge loads from the primary loading sites at Mannheim and Aschaffenburg; 407 trains, with 12,210 railcars; and 204 road convoys, totaling 5,100 vehicles. In a deliberate effort to reduce the burden of increased traffic on the autobahns and to expedite the move, the large majority of vehicles, both tracked and wheeled, traveled by rail or barge.30

Once at the three ports,31 the equipment was assembled in staging areas and subsequently sent in 154 shiploads to Saudi Arabia. The soldiers flew out of Ramstein, Rhein Main, Nuremberg, and Stuttgart. It took 1,772 buses to move the troops to the airports, 1,008 vehicles and drivers from the 37th Transportation Group to carry the baggage, and


578 aircraft to fly them all to Southwest Asia.32 As VII Corps neared completion of the process, Lt. Gen. William S. Flynn, the 21st TAACOM commander, noted how much more complex the move was than REFORGER. "We usually plan all year long to unload two or three ships in one port," he said. "For Desert Shield we planned for a week and loaded some 115 ships through three ports and moved more than a corps worth of equipment through the lines of communication."33

Partnerships forged with Belgian, Dutch, and German allies through the REFORGER exercises proved invaluable to commanders rushing to Southwest Asia. On Saturday, 17 November, General Galvin asked the citizens of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands for help. The deployment quickly became a combined effort of four nations. On that day, for the first time since the end of World War II, German and Dutch railroad officials exchanged liaison officers to ease rail movement of American equipment.34

In Belgium, in Operation SANDY COCKTAIL, representatives of the 21st Theater Army Area Command, the Military Traffic Management Command, the Belgian Ministry of Defense, and the Belgian firm Noord Natie worked together around the clock to load ships at Antwerp. Belgian military forces coordinated the arrival of railcars, barges, and convoys from Germany with American transportation officials. U.S. military vehicles arriving in Antwerp first went to the Delwaid Dock staging area, where they were inspected for safety and counted. Then all equipment was arranged in groups by type, size, and weight for loading. Belgian soldiers patrolled the areas around the ports, and Belgian Navy divers jumped into dockside waters to patrol the waters surrounding the ships.35

Movement of the materiel from posts in Germany would not have been possible without the help of the German government. For example, shipping ammunition to Saudi Arabia became a theater team effort with handling units from the Bundeswehr and the Bundesbahn helping USAREUR personnel. American soldiers and German workers loaded munitions onto 1,276 trucks and 2,300 railcars at four railheads and three ports. During the peak of this operation more tons of ammunition were moved in one day than the theater normally shipped in one year.36

While waiting their turn to leave, the heavy divisions continued training and readied their equipment and themselves for war. The VII Corps units, collectively considering themselves to be the U.S. Army's most flexible corps, readjusted their training to concentrate on a more active defense and on offensive operations. Tankers and Bradley fighting vehicle crewmen fired crew-level gunnery at the Seventh Army Training Center at Grafenwoehr and the Hohenfels Combat Maneuver Training Center; used computer simulators at their home bases; and trained extensively with chemical protection equipment.37

Many soldiers had to learn to work with new faces. Because of the force reductions in Europe and other factors, Army planners and commanders assembled complete divisions using battalions and brigades borrowed from other divisions and support components that consisted, in part, of


Reserve and National Guard units from the United States and Germany. Corps-level combat support and combat service support organizations also mixed regular and reserve units under a single headquarters. For example, military police from three regular brigades and two reserve battalions deployed under the VII Corps' 14th Military Police Brigade headquarters. The 2d Support Command swelled from its peacetime strength of nearly 8,000 to 25,000 through reserve augmentation.38

The 2d Armored Cavalry deployed to Southwest Asia first. Within days of President Bush's 8 November announcement, the regiment, which had patrolled West Germany's border with the East for more than forty-five years, had its equipment loaded and was under way. After reaching Saudi Arabia in early December, it began preparations for the arrival of the remaining VII Corps units at the tactical assembly area.39

The movement from Germany proved agonizingly slow. Most VII Corps field commanders expected eventually to go to the Middle East, but security requirements delayed official notification until 9 November. With little advance warning, unit commanders assembled troops for the move to the designated ports. Ordered to take all necessary organizational property and equipment with them, they struggled to prepare. Inter-unit transfers of equipment became necessary as deploying soldiers obtained the best available gear from units staying in Germany. To facilitate movement, V Corps deployed its own units, which were reassigned to Vll Corps after they had reached A1 Jubayl, Ad Dammam, or Dhahran in the Persian Gulf. Overall, the deployments from Germany showed that rapidly dispatching forward-deployed units into another theater as a contingency force was a major challenge.

With no formal doctrine for such massive inter-theater movements, and hampered by bad weather, dock strikes, and the problems inherent with loading hundreds of tanks and wheeled vehicles onto railcars and ships, the remaining Vll Corps units did not share the 2d Armored Cavalry's success. Although all corps equipment quickly reached the European ports for transshipment, ships did not put all of Vll Corps in Southwest Asia by the target date of 15 January. At this time, only 91 percent of the corps' soldiers, with 67 percent of the tracked vehicles and 66 percent of the wheeled vehicles, had made it.40

Once in the theater of operations, the distribution of unit equipment delayed movement to the tactical assembly areas in the desert. Commanders had hoped to deploy in tactical formation, but the property of individual units frequently became dispersed among a number of ships. Equipment did not arrive in unit sets, complicating the buildup at the Saudi ports and delaying forward movement of V11 Corps. Lack of coordination between sea and air traffic had major effects on port overcrowding, preparation for combat, and force protection. For example, on 9 January, over 35,000 Vll Corps soldiers were in staging areas at Saudi ports waiting for their equipment or for ground transportation to move to the field.41


[Photo Omitted]
VII Corps elements in Saudi Arabia. SOme troops await transportation to their assembly areas, while others unload their gear from an aircraft


Soldiers flew into airports near A1 Jubayl and Ad Dammam. From there they moved to the ports, where they stayed in warehouses or tent cities and waited for their equipment. Once their equipment arrived, the soldiers oversaw the loading of their tanks, artillery, and other tracked vehicles onto heavy equipment transporters. Buses carried the officers, soldiers, and baggage.42 Between the arrival of the first ship on 5 December 1990 and 18 February 1991, when the last equipment departed the Saudi ports for the VII Corps' tactical assembly areas, the corps launched 900 convoys; moved over 6,000 armored vehicles and thousands of other pieces of equipment over 340 miles into the desert; and sent 3,500 containers with critical unit equipment, repair parts, and supplies forward.43

VII Corps Rear Base Operations

After the VII Corps deployed, a single corps remained in Germany. It consisted of the 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 3d Infantry Division, the 11th Armored Cavalry, and assorted combat support and combat service support units.44 Consequently, on 5 December General Saint redefined the command-and-control arrangements in Europe. He attached those VII Corps tactical units still in Germany to V Corps, under the command of Lt. Gen. David M. Maddox. Maj. Gen. Roger K. Bean, commander of the 56th Field Artillery Command, took over VII Corps residual staff and all VII Corps units not attached to V Corps. General Bean also assumed responsibility for protecting U.S. lives, property, and installations in southern Germany.45

The duties of those units staying in Germany did not diminish. The uncertainty of the situation, as well as the nearness of Europe to the Persian Gulf, meant that those troops still in Germany would become a major supplier of equipment to Central Command. Personnel from both European Command and U.S. Army, Europe, became responsible for the logistical sustainment of units already in Saudi Arabia.

USAREUR logistical support began in August 1990 as soon as the first support elements arrived in Southwest Asia and peaked in January 1991 as General Schwarzkopf made final preparations for war. The American forces remaining in Germany sent ammunition as well as large numbers of Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and hospital sets, which General Yeosock and his ARCENT staff used to equip and modernize their forces and to set up a theater reserve for what many anticipated to be a longer war. The Army also used equipment from the European theater reserves and pre-positioned stocks to fill the large number of security assistance requests received from coalition partners.46 Although Generals Galvin and Saint tried to keep enough materiel in Europe to deter a possible crisis, European Command ran short of HELLFIRE and Copperhead missiles. Virtually all tents were sent out of the theater, and stocks of fighting vehicles were drawn down significantly.47


USAREUR also had responsibility for sending initial crew replacements to the Gulf. During the crisis it sent 116 Ml crews, 108 M2 crews, 24 M3 crews, 24 155-mm. artillery crews, 8 203-mm. artillery crews, and 10 OH-58 crews, totaling 1,900 soldiers, to Saudi Arabia. The headquarters also deployed 4,780 troops in a follow-on force package .48

To assist those who stayed, forty-one Army Reserve units and fourteen Army National Guard units from the United States and Europe helped provide force protection, medical care, and transportation support. For example, 44 chaplains and 3,460 medical personnel deployed to Germany to replace those recently sent to Saudi Arabia.49

In a unique development in U.S. military history, nearly all 300,000 U.S. dependents remained in Europe. Since the deploying units would return to Germany after the Persian Gulf crisis, the families remained in familiar surroundings, among friends, and within a functioning family support structure. In addition to his other responsibilities, General Bean took command of the newly established major command support area directly under General Saint. Bean became responsible for a community structure encompassing the cities of Ansbach, Aschaffenburg, Augsburg, Bad Toelz, Bamberg, Goeppingen, Heilbronn, Munich, Neu Ulm, Nuremberg, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, and Wuerzburg.50 Those military communities bonded together more closely. To ease the disruptions caused by the deployment, local German communities offered their assistance to those left behind. As General Saint later explained, "There is an advantage to staying with people you've been with, because you're all in it together and you can support each other ....This is home." The movement from Germany marked the first time a large forward-deployed force had been sent to another country while family and support structures stayed behind.51

1st Infantry Division Deployment

Like VII Corps in Europe, the 1st Infantry Division in the United States prepared for its deployment to Southwest Asia. The division commander, Maj. Gen. Thomas G. Rhame, had judged from the start of the Persian Gulf crisis that his unit would be mobilized and, in early August, had instructed unit commanders to take reasonable and prudent measures to begin preparing for a possible deployment. Readying for such an eventuality was not uncommon for 1st Division soldiers, who had for years rehearsed for a large-scale deployment. Also, the unit's emergency deployment plan, although geared toward a crisis in Europe, could be adapted easily to almost any locale. Once trouble began in the Persian Gulf, division planners tailored the deployment concepts to fit a move to the Middle East.52

Meanwhile, the soldiers began preparing for combat. Several months before the Persian Gulf crisis began, the 1st Division had completed extensive desert training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. In late August the 1st underwent more training at Fort Hood, Texas, rehearsing a Middle East scenario against III Corps soldiers. Assuming that they



1st Infantry Division Soldier securing a vehicle to a railcar
1st Infantry Division Soldier securing a vehicle to a railcar

would deploy, unit commanders expended the resources allocated for the year's readiness training. For example, during September and October, individual units fired all of their training ammunition in preparation for combat operations. Predeployment activities culminated in late November with refresher training in combat skills.53

The soldiers also used the immediate predeployment period to learn about new equipment, like the MlA1 Abrams tank. Just before the division deployed, forty-three members of the New Equipment Transition Team from Fort Knox, Kentucky, visited Fort Riley with fifteen MlAls and provided tank crews with sixteen hours of intensive transition training. Once in Saudi Arabia, the division's Mls were replaced with MlAls.54

The entire Fort Riley community helped prepare for the deployment. Between 1 October and 20 November, as 1st Division soldiers readied themselves and their equipment for the movement overseas, Fort Riley's Force Modernization Office worked to ensure that the unit had all it needed for its mission. The office staff worked around the clock to coordinate receipt of almost 600 new five-ton trucks, over 500 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, 3,000 9-mm. pistols, and 50 AN/AVS-6 aviation night vision imaging systems. In addition, the division acquired a reverse osmosis water purification unit before departing for Saudi Arabia.55

Equipment loading began in late November, after which time the troops continued training without their gear while awaiting their deployment dates. Reservists from the 1179th Deployment Control Unit at Fort Hamilton, New York, monitored Fort Riley's railheads to ensure that the 1st Division's equipment was properly loaded for shipment to the Port of Houston in Texas. The unit loaded 650 vehicles on the first day and altogether shipped about 7,000 vehicles and trailers to Texas. During the period 1 to 24 December fourteen ships were filled with the division's equipment. The first, the Merzario Italia, departed Houston on the sixth and the last, the USNS Algol, on the twenty-eighth. As was the case for the deployments from Germany, materiel was not shipped in unit sets, later causing some confusion at the Saudi ports.56

On 12 December Brig. Gen. William G. Carter III, the assistant division commander for maneuver, went to Southwest Asia with a 200-man advance party. Seven days later the group set up a tactical assembly area, code-named ROOSEVELT, in the north Saudi Arabian desert. Beginning on the fifteenth, the nearly 11,900 soldiers of the 1st Division departed, incrementally, from Forbes Field in Topeka, Kansas (Table 4). The majority of the troops reached Saudi Arabia on the thirty-first, and the last equipment ship docked in late January.57


As in Germany, family support groups sprang up at Fort Riley. The post set up a 24-hour hotline; established family support centers; and scheduled daily activities for children, teens, and adults. In addition, the staff used a facsimile machine, donated by AT&T, to send newsletters from the home front to the troops in the Middle East.

Mobilizing the Army National Guard

The all-volunteer force depended very much on the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. More than 1,040 reserve and guard units, totaling about 140,000 soldiers from every state and territory, supported the Persian Gulf operation. During the Phase II deployments, regular, reserve, and guard units began to move by mid-November and reached full combat readiness in Saudi Arabia by early February.

After President Bush's 8 November order to increase troop levels in Southwest Asia, Secretary Cheney not only announced the deployment of the VII Corps and the 1st Division but also, after months of public debate and congressional pressure, the federalization of three combat roundout brigades-the 48th Infantry from Georgia, the 155th Armored from Mississippi, and the 256th Infantry (Mechanized) from Louisiana- and two field artillery brigades-the 142d from Arkansas and Oklahoma and the 196th from Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

The announcement actually came as no surprise for the three combat roundout brigades. Four days earlier the Department of Defense had disclosed that Congress had extended the call-up authority to 360 days for combat units, permitting the reserve combat units to be called to active duty in the event General Schwarzkopf needed either reinforcements in a prolonged conflict or rotational units in a lengthy deployment.

Table 4

Aircraft a Number of Flights Personnel
C-5 6 273
C-141 14 226
DC-10 5 1,192
L-1011 9 1,753
747 23 8,404
Total 57 11,848

a Along with division personnel, 1,600 short tons of equipment were moved.
Source: 1st Infantry Division Daily Sitreps, Dec 90 Jan 91.


The three combat brigades received official alert notices on 15 November. Fifteen days later the approximately 4,200 officers and men of the 48th and 5,500 soldiers of the 256th reported to active duty; the 3,700 men of the 155th reported on 7 December. The delay in the 155th's call-up provided the local commanders at Fort Hood and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin some flexibility in scheduling training. Army planners estimated at that time that it would cost about $120 million to activate all three units.58

The Army set the same deployment criteria for reserve combat units as for regular component units at its highest C-1 standard. A unit could have no deficiencies in the prescribed levels of wartime resources and training and had to have 90 percent of its personnel and equipment. Occasionally a unit at a C-2 readiness level, with minor deficiencies and 80-90 percent of its personnel and equipment, also deployed. For the three roundout brigades, a detailed training program and personnel plan was established to upgrade the units, when necessary, to C-1.

Predeployment training followed call-up. Once alerted, each brigade had thirty days to report to a mobilization station and used the time to assess training, to prepare leaders, to hone individual and small-unit skills, and to conduct maintenance and logistics training. At the mobilization station, the reservists prepared for overseas movement and underwent more individual and crew training. Finally, each brigade separately attended the Army's unique recertification training course at the National Training Center.59 Secretary Cheney claimed that the decision to send the brigades through predeployment training at the center did not reflect a lack of confidence in their combat readiness: "I'm not eager to send units that are not fully ready....They need to go to the National Training Center to get into shape as if they were an active duty division."60

Upon federalization, soldiers of Brig. Gen. William A. Holland's 48th Infantry Brigade gathered at Fort Stewart, Georgia, their mobilization station. Between 5 and 8 December they prepared for overseas movement. Like the regulars, they underwent physical, psychological, and dental evaluations; received new dog tags and identification cards, if necessary; and completed wills and financial forms. While at Fort Stewart the soldiers also worked on common training tasks, generally referred to as basic survivability skills, such as weapons qualification, tank systems familiarization, and training in chemical warfare.61

On 17 December the soldiers began loading their equipment on railroad cars for the cross-country trip to the National Training Center. Personnel movement by air to Fort Irwin began ten days later. The final flight of soldiers arrived in California on 3 January. Movement into the desert training area commenced the following day.62

The arrival of the 48th Infantry Brigade posed a major challenge to Brig. Gen. Wesley K, Clark, commander of the National Training Center (NTC). Previously, the mission of the desert exercise post was to


rigorously test and evaluate the performance of active Army armor and mechanized battalions that rotated through the center every thirty days or so. Now Clark had to address the training needs of an entire brigade, determine its ability to accomplish what the Army termed its Mission Essential Task List (METL-or, in Army jargon, its "Metal"), and then use his NTC cadre to train the components of the 48th to meet Regular Army standards in each mission area. Ultimately, the job took some fifty-five days and included squad-, platoon-, and company level training in both live fire and opposing force environments, culminating in a twelve-day continuous exercise for the full brigade. On the advice of Army leaders like General Vuono and General Burba, the FORSCOM commander, Clark designed a training sequence that also incorporated lessons already learned in the Middle East, such as breaching the kinds of defense obstacles that Iraq had erected in Kuwait and defending against Iraqi tactics used in the eight-year war against Iran.63 The 48th completed its postmobilization training on 28 February.

Although Forces Command certified the 48th Infantry Brigade's readiness after its stint at Fort Irwin, the overall roundout program remained plagued with controversy. Contined scrutiny by the press led many to question the validity of the entire concept, especially in the midst of these comparatively long predeployment training programs. Criticism increased on 14 February, when the Second United States Army commander, Lt. Gen. James W. Crysel, with the consent of General Burba, released General Holland from active duty; assigned him to another general officer position in the Georgia guard; and replaced him with the 48th's deputy commander, Col. James R. Davis.64

While waiting for the 48th to finish at Fort Irwin, the 155th Armored Brigade trained at Fort Hood. The tank crews of the 155th had serious difficulties on the gunnery ranges. Col. Fletcher C. Coker, commander of the 155th, claimed that training at Fort Hood "was an eye opener." The ranges were up to 1.8 miles wider and 2.5 miles deeper than the unit's normal training range at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. After intensive training at Fort Hood, the brigade spent three weeks at the National Training Center. 65

The training of the 256th Infantry Brigade, under the command of Brig. Gen. Gary J. Whipple, created new rounds of controversy regarding the competence and use of the roundout brigades in combat. The brigade had received M1 Abrams in 1989 and was still in the new equipment training process when federalized. The soldiers had only recently learned to drive the tanks, and maneuver, gunnery, and maintenance training had not yet been scheduled. In addition, the 256th, like the 155th, had arrived at its mobilization station, Fort Polk, Louisiana, with insufficient chemical protection and communications equipment, partially because of extensive redistribution of equipment to other National Guard units called up earlier. 66


While training at its mobilization station, the 256th lost eight company commanders, who were released from active duty. Although not relieved for cause, those officers, according to General Burba, had "never had the opportunity to go through sustained stress." The training at Fort Polk "provided an opportunity to evaluate and correctly replace inadequate commanders with better commanders."67

Perhaps the most serious problem the 256th faced came when sixty-seven soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 156th Armor, were absent without leave. Shortly after arriving at Fort Hood on 21 January, the 1st Battalion commenced field training. Before the unit returned to the fort on 4 February, some of the soldiers apparently had obtained a draft copy of a training schedule that indicated a two-day break between field exercises. They assumed, without being told by the battalion commander, that they would get passes for the entire two days. After the exercise, however, the commander informed the unit that, because of duty requirements, half of the battalion would go on pass the first day and the other half would go the following day. The soldiers complained that the one-day pass would prevent them from visiting their families.68

On 5 February some of the soldiers left without authorization for Shreveport, Louisiana. Once there, they met with the media and described the "deplorable conditions" at Fort Hood. Complaints included stressful training, homesickness, poor food, substandard living conditions, and a lack of time off. The incident involved only 1 percent of the brigade's members-twenty-seven had passes but had exceeded their limit, and forty were absent without leave. Legal cases resulting from the incident were handled on an individual basis. By the fifteenth, forty-four had been discharged and the remaining cases either were still pending or had been dismissed.69

On 7 February the command discovered another potential absence problem within the 256th Brigade. Soldiers of the 3d Battalion, 156th Armor, apparently held several meetings to discuss leaving Fort Hood without authorization. About eighty attended the initial meeting, although fewer and fewer soldiers went to later ones. The command intervened before any of the soldiers were absent without leave.70

In March, just as the 48th Brigade finished at Fort Irwin and redeployed to Fort Stewart, the House Armed Services Committee began hearings on the roundout program.71 Disagreements over the readiness levels of the three roundout brigades surfaced as General Burba and Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway, chief of the National Guard Bureau, debated how much training the brigades required for certification. Burba argued that they needed a full ninety days of training. Conaway disputed the necessity of such a long training period, claiming that the units should be given training credit for the work done before arriving at the mobilization centers.72

Despite the controversy over the readiness of the roundout brigades, General Conaway explained that some postmobilization training was always planned to bring National Guard units to a full ready


status. Furthermore, training time differed depending on the training plan and the unit mission. Conaway pointed out that the three brigades were trained and resourced for deployment within forty-five to sixty days of federalization. Training time was extended because the mission essential task lists changed to adjust to lessons being learned in Saudi Arabia by the troops already there. All three brigades, Conaway claimed, had already met the readiness standards and task-list requirement for which they were originally designed before mobilization. 73

The two field artillery brigades, the 142d and the 196th, were federalized at about the same time as their maneuver counterparts. At this time, both artillery brigades were nearly fully trained in gunnery. Unlike the maneuver brigades, the artillery units did not need the movement and synchronization skills taught at the National Training Center. On 21 November the 142d Field Artillery Brigade and its three subordinate units-the 1st and 2d Battalions, 142d Field Artillery, from Arkansas and the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, from Oklahoma- reported to active duty. The brigade arrived at its mobilization station, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, between 23 and 25 November.74 On arriving at Fort Sill, the commander of the 2d Battalion, Lt. Col. William D. Wofford, said his postmobilization training would focus on "last minute" training exercises in chemical warfare, communications procedures, and survival skills.75

The 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, was the only multiple launch rocket battalion in the reserves. It had twenty-seven launchers, which were among the Army's newest field artillery weapons. At the time of the 1st's mobilization the commander, Lt. Col. Larry D. Haub, echoed Wofford's training assessment. Haub indicated his unit would focus on chemical warfare defense and individual marksmanship, rather than artillery firing exercises during postmobilization training.76

By 15 December, only twenty-four days after federalization, the 142d Brigade had its equipment at the Port of Galveston in Texas, awaiting transshipment to Southwest Asia. Consequently, borrowed equipment was used to refresh skills while at Fort Sill. On 16 January the brigade deployed to Saudi Arabia, with the 1st and 2d Battalions, 142d Field Artillery, leaving three days later and the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, on 2 February.77

On 15 December the 196th Field Artillery Brigade was federalized with three subordinate battalions. On 2 February the 196th deployed to Saudi Arabia with one of its subordinate units, the 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery, from West Virginia. The two other units-the 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery, from Kentucky and the 1st Battalion, 181st Field Artillery, from Tennessee-joined the brigade several days later.

The success of both field artillery brigades during Operation DESERT STORM showed that reserve combat units could serve effectively as part of the total force. The 142d and 196th Brigades, the first reserve units to fight a major action since the Vietnam War, performed with distinction.78


Mobilizing the Individual Ready Reserve

In addition to federalizing the five Army National Guard brigades, Secretary Cheney on 14 November authorized the call-up of another 72,500 Army National Guard and Army Reserve troops. The new authority, which did not require the approval of Congress, more than doubled the number of citizen-soldiers called.

Reserve mobilization reached a new level on 18 January 1991, when President Bush authorized the activation of the Individual Ready Reserve. That decision to call up reservists who were not already assigned to units gave the Department of Defense greater authority and flexibility as the Persian Gulf crisis approached its critical stage. The president's action permitted the activation of up to 1 million ready reservists for twenty-four months, ending the 200,000-person and 180-day limitations. The new declaration also permitted the involuntary call-up of individuals.79 With the authority delegated by the president, Secretary Cheney increased the overall reserve-component call-up from 189,000 to 316,000. The Army's share rose from 115,000 to 220,000.80

With the possibility of ground combat becoming more likely, the Army Staff was most concerned that follow-on units be at full strength and qualified individual replacements be readily available. To accomplish this, mailgrams ordered 20,000 reservists to report to designated reception centers by 1 February. As the date approached, no one was certain of whether the ready reservists could be located or would even report. Concern turned to mild panic when, by 30 January, only 300 had reported for duty. The Pentagon staffers, all of field rank, had either forgotten such factors as youth or the GI mentality. In a scene that probably had parallels at other posts, just before midnight on 31 January a stretch limousine pulled into Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with four enlisted reservists reporting for duty. Their compatriots were not far behind.

Those selected were in occupational specialties where replacements would most likely be needed. Infantry, artillery, armor, and engineer skills accounted for 42 percent of the individuals activated, while mechanics and vehicle operators added an additional 20 percent. Screening at the reception centers provided medical, compassionate, and administrative releases. With less than two weeks available, their formal preparation was often limited to donning gas masks, zeroing in individual weapons, and performing physical training to harden muscles and increase endurance. As many were experienced soldiers who had recently participated in Operation JUST CAUSE, further retraining could best be accomplished by their assigned units. Some 13,000 ready reservists completed this process, of whom 5,800 were assigned in the United States; 4,500 to Europe; 2,700 to Southwest Asia; and 120 to the Pacific.

To assist mobilization of the Individual Ready Reserve, the Training and Doctrine Command provided additional reception and training support. Beginning in January, elements of the 70th, 78th, 80th, 84th, 85th,


98th, 100th, and 108th Divisions (Training) were mobilized in each of the continental army areas and supported eight mobilization stations.81 The 4159th U.S. Army Reserve Forces School had been mobilized in December to assist in the training of guardsmen at Fort Hood. In January the 2077th U.S. Army Reserve Forces School, the Sixth U.S. Army Intelligence Training Army Area School, and parts of five additional schools, one from each continental army area, were mobilized.82 The training divisions and schools provided the basic skills refresher and military occupational specialty training for roundout units and ready reservists.

By the middle of March many of the ready reservists had completed their whirlwind mobilization and returned to civilian life. The evidence suggests that many had found the brief experience irritating, disruptive, and without purpose. Nevertheless, they had come forward when called and provided crucial backup for the Army.

The late mobilization and deployment of some reserve units and the decision not to activate others whose training and organization had earmarked them for Southwest Asia, although frustrating to those involved, were based on sound and calculated decisions of the Army leadership. The evolving situation in the theater of operations combined with transportation shortages and statutory restrictions to limit the employment of reserve components. The fluidity of the situation led to significant changes in contingency plans and made flexibility in mobilization and subsequent deployments vital.

Initially, the Army delayed the decision for the overseas movement of National Guard and reserve organizations until additional training could be accomplished. Although ultimately many units remained in the United States, they provided the Army with a strategic reserve. Had further reinforcements to Central Command been necessary for rotational or replacement purposes, or had unforeseen contingencies occurred elsewhere, those units could have been committed by the beginning of 1991. And, had they deployed to a combat zone, additional reserve and guard units of similar size and capability were ready to be activated and take their place.

Overall, the creation of a major expeditionary force of regular, reserve, and guard units was a remarkable accomplishment. The groundwork for this achievement had been carried out during the previous two decades, which witnessed the steady improvement in the quality and responsiveness of the Army's reserve components. Never before had the nation mobilized and deployed such an effective and diverse force so quickly. A flexible approach proved critical to that success. As in the Regular Army, not every reservist or guardsman reached the combat zone. Thousands of reservists filled positions vacated by regulars in the United States and overseas, ensuring that the Army's training and sustainment base remained intact and that commitments elsewhere in the world would not be neglected. Every reserve and guard unit, whether mobilized or not, constituted a part of the total strategic reserve and, in that role, was as significant as those regular forces that remained in Europe, in Korea, and at other stations.


1 Draft MS, Capt Douglas, CENTCOM History, p. 7, lnterv, David Frost with General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, 20 Mar 91, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Thomas L. Friedman and Patrick E. Tyler, "From the First, U.S. Resolve to Fight," New York Times, 3 Mar 91; Interv, Mal Larry Heystek with CENTCOM Planning Cell, Operation DESERT STORM, 7 Mar 91, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (hereafter cited as CENTCOM Planning Cell interview), p. 2.

2 CENTCOM Planning Cell interview; Chronology, Special Planning Cell, J-5, CENTCOM (hereafter cited as Special Planning Cell chronology), p. 1; Quote from Draft MS Swain Operational Narrative, pp. 34, 36.

3 Draft MS, Swain, Operational Narrative, pp. 9, 60; Nyrop, ed., Saudi Arabia, A Country Study, pp. 66-67, 70, Nyrop, ed., Iraq: A Country Study, p. 71, U.S. Army Center for Army Lessons Learned, Winning in the Desert (Fort Leavenworth, Kans.: Army Center for Lessons Learned, 1990), pp. 1, 5; Dan Janutolo, " 101st on the Front Lines," Soldiers 46 (January 1991) 19; W. F. Gabella, "Formidable Natural Hazards Await U.S. Coalition Forces," Armed Forces Journal International (March 1991): 36.

4 U.S. Army Intelligence and Threat Analysis Center, How They Fight: DESERT SHIELD Order of Battle Handbook, AIA-DS-2-90, Sep 90 (hereafter cited as Order of Battle Handbook), pp. 5, 43-44; U.S. Army Intelligence Agency, Identifying the Iraqi Threat and How They Fight, AIA-DS-1-90, Sep 90 update, p. 2; National Training Center Handbook 100-91, The Iraqi Army; Organization and Tactics [3 Jan 9 1 pp. 1-2; MS, Col Robert A. Doughty, War in the Persian Gulf [United States Military Academy (USMA), Apr 911, pp. 5-6.

5 Order of Battle Handbook, pp. 43 60, 64; David Eshel, "Obstacle Breaching Techniques," Armor 100 (January-February 1991): 11; Southwest Asia (SWA) Military Operations Opposing Forces, Tactics and Doctrine, pp. 14, 27-30.

6 Tamir Eshel, "Drawing (Defensive) Lines in the Sand," Armed Forces Journal International (February 1991); 18 , Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for intelligence (ODCSINT) Intelligence Summaries for mid to late September.

7 Draft MS, Swain, Operational Narrative, pp. 12, 36-A Special Planning Cell chronology, pp. 1-2, CENTCOM Planning Cell interview, pp. 9-12, 48. General Schwarzkopf later declared that he had only prepared this plan in response to queries from Washington on his course of action should he be ordered to attack with the forces available. He indicated that his main purpose was to show the difficulty of an offensive by one corps to strengthen his case for another corps. See Interv, Frost with Schwarzkopf.

8 Draft MS, Swain, Operational Narrative, pp. 36, 39; CENTCOM Planning Cell interview; Special Planning Cell chronology, pp. 2-3; Gabella, "Formidable Natural Hazards Await U.S. Coalition Forces," p. 38.

9 Special Planning Cell chronology, pp. 4-5, CENTCOM Planning Cell interview, Interv, Frank N. Schubert with Col Richard M. Swain, 20 Jun 91, Fort McPherson, Ga.

10 Woodward, The Commanders, pp. 309-21; "The Path to War," Newsweek, Commemorative Edition (Spring/Summer 1991): 45-46.

11 U.S. Congress, Senate, Crisis in the Persian Gulf Region: U.S. Policy Options and Implications, Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services, 101st Cong., 2d sess., 1990, p.109.

12 Ibid., p. 676, Department of Defense Public Affairs Release, no. 540-90, More Heavy Divisions, Marines, and Ships Headed for the Persian Gulf, 8 Nov 90.

13 Msg, Lt Gen Ross to Lt Gen Yeosock, 14 Nov 90, sub: Recall/Deployment of 377th Theater Army Area Command, Draft NIS, John Brinkerhoff, The Case of the Unit that Wasn't Called, 15 Jan 92.

14 Interv, Theresa L. Kraus with Headquarters, U.S. Army, Europe (HQ, USAREUR), staff, 22 May 91, Heidelberg, Germany (hereafter cited as HQ USAREUR, staff interview); Vuono interview, 3 Aug 92.

15 "Deploying the 'Keepers of the Faith,"' Army Logistician (May-June 1991): 26.

16 Draft MS, HQ, VII Corps, Historical Narrative of VII Corps' Participation in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, 22 Mar 91, Msg, Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe (CINCUSAREUR), to V Corps, VII Corps, et al., 14 Nov 90.

17 HQ, USAREUR, staff interview "Deploying the 'Keepers of the Faith,"' p. 26.

18 HQ, USAREUR, staff interview Vuono interview, 3 Aug 92.

19 Briefing Slides, USAREUR DCSOPS Conventional Forces, Europe (CFE), Division, Deployment of USAREUR Units to Saudi Arabia, n.d.

20 Interv, Theresa L. Kraus with Russell Parkinson, 1 Jul 91, Washington, D. C.

21 HQ, USAREUR, staff interview.

22 Interv, Theresa L. Kraus with Lt Col Peter Kindsvatter, 22 May 91, Moehringen, Germany.

23 CINCUSAREUR Deployment Order 22, 10 Nov 90.

24 Briefing Slides, USARCENT Briefing to VII Corps, c. Nov 91.

25 Interv, Theresa L. Kraus with Maj Stephen Howard, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (ODCSLOG), USAREUR, 24 May 91, Heidelberg, Germany.

26 "Deploying the 'Keepers of the Faith,"' pp. 26-27, M. Sgt. Adolph C. Mallory, "TAACOM Moves the Equipment to Calm Desert Storms," 21st TAACOM Support Sentinel, Jan/Feb 91, p. 4.

27 During Phase I of Operation DESERT SHIELD, USAREUR deployed the following units (with over 1,900 personnel) and equipment. the 12th Aviation Brigade, with 100 aircraft (of which were 37 AH-64s) ; the 421st Medical Battalion, with 12 UH-60 medevac aircraft, VII and V Corps nuclear-biological-chemical platoons, with 30 Fox vehicles, the 655th Medical Company (Blood), with its organic equipment, the 483d Medical Detachment (Veterinary), with its organic equipment, and the 207th Medical Company, with 2 C-12 aircraft.

28 Briefing Slides, USAREUR ODCSLOG, Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM, n.d.

29 Howard interview.

30 Briefing Slides, USAREUR ODCSLOG, Contribution to the Victory in the Gulf, Operation DESERT SHIELD.DFSERT STORM, n.d.; Draft MS, Charles E. White, First in Support: The 21st Theater Army Area Command in Operation DESERT SHIELD, n.d., History Office, 21st TAACOM, Steve Wesbrook, VII Corps Debarkation and Onward Movement, in Chief of Staffs Assessment and Initiatives Group, Issues Book, 14 Jun 91; HQ, VII Corps, Public Affairs Office (PAO), From Germany to Kuwait: VII Corps in Action During DESERT STORM, n. d. Draft MS, HQ, VII Corps, Draft Historical Narrative on VII Corps' Participation in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, 22 Mar 91.

31 The port at Bremerhaven opened on 3 November for VII Corps' deployment operation, Antwerp on 17 November, and Rotterdam on 21 November.

32 Briefing Slides, USAREUR ODCSLOG, Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM; Briefing Slides, USAREUR, Contribution to the Victory in the Gulf, Operation DESERT SHIELD.DESERT STORM, n.d., Draft MS, White, First in Support, Wesbrook, VII Corps Debarkation and Onward Movement, HQ, VII Corps, PAO, From Germany to Kuwait: VII Corps in Action During DESERT STORM, n.d., Draft MS, HQ, VII Corps, Draft Historical Narrative on VII Corps' Participation in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, 22 Mar 91.

33 Lt. Gen. William Flynn, "Operation DESERT SHIELD," 21st TAACOM Support Sentinel, Jan/Feb 91, p. 2.

34 Draft MS, White, First in Support, p. 18.

35 Briefing Slides, 80th Area Support Group, Operation SANDY COCKTAIL, n.d.; M. Sgt. Adolph C. Mallory, "Operation Sandy Cocktail," 21st TAACOM Support Sentinel, Jan/Feb 91, p. 5; Mallory, "TAACOM Moves the Equipment to Calm Desert Storms," p. 4.

36 Briefing Slides, USAREUR ODCSLOG, Operation DESERT SHIELD/ STORM.

37 "We're Going to Saudi," Army Times, 26 Nov 90, pp. 12-13.

38 HQ, VII Corps, PAO, From Germany to Kuwait.

39 Steve Vogel, "On the Way," Army Times, 17 Dec 90, p; 14; Vogel, "Ever-ready Armored Unit Struts its Stuff," Army Times, 10 Dec 90, pp. 20,68.

40 Wesbrook, VII Corps Debarkation and Onward Movement, 14 Jun 91.

41 ibid.

42 HQ, VII Corps, PAO, From Germany to Kuwait.

43 Wesbrook, VII Corps Debarkation and Onward Movement, 14 Jun 91.

44 MSg, Public Affairs Guidance for Deployment of Additional Forces to Operation DESERT SHIELD, 9 Nov 90.

45 MSgs, CINCUSAREUR to VII Corps/V Corps/21st Theater Army Area Command (TAACOM) et al., 18 and 19 Nov 90, and to Cdr, Berlin Brigade, 20 Nov 90,

46 Briefing Slides, USAREUR ODCSLOG, Operation DESERT SHIELD/STORM; Briefing Slides, USAREUR, Contribution to the Victory in the Gulf, Operation DE-;L'SH(LLD.DEsFRT STORM.

47 Howard interview.

48 Briefing Slides, USAREUR, Contributions to the Victory in the Gulf, Operation DESERT SHIELD.DESERT STORM; Memo, USAREUR for Surgeon General, 11 Dec 90, sub: General from USAREUR, Reception and Onward Movement of Reserve Component Medical Augmentation.

49 Ibid.

50 Msg, CINCUSAREUR to VII Corps/V Corps/21st TAACOM et al., 19 Nov 91, S. Sgt. William H McMichael, "Deforger: Europe to Saudi," Soldiers (February 1991): 22

51 McMichael, "Deforger: Europe to Saudi," p. 22.

52 "From the Plains to the Desert 1st Inf. Div. Deploys," Soldiers (March 1991): 13; Interv (telephone), Theresa L. Kraus with Lt Col Gregory Fontenot, 16 Jul 91.

53 Leslie Garven, "Rhame: Big Red One Trained and Ready," Daily Union (Junction City, Kans.), 11 Nov 90, p. 11 Fontenot interview.

54 "From the Plains to the Desert," pp. 14-15.

55 Ibid.

56 Ibid., p. 15; Fontenot interview, 1st Infantry Division Daily Sitreps, Nov-Dec 90.

57 Leslie Garven, "Big Red One's Mission Covered in Day-by-Day Detail," Daily Union, 24 May 91, p. 11, Fontenot intemew; 1st Infantry Division Daily Sitreps, Dec 90-Jan 91.

58 Memo, SAPA-PP for Principal Officials of Headquarters, Department of the Army, 21 Nov 90, sub: Public Affairs Guidance. for Call-Up of Reserve Component Combat Units in Support of Operation DESERT SHIELD.

59 Decision Briefing, ODCSOPS, 48th Infantry Brigade-Mechanized, n.d.

60 "President Bush Orders Call-Up of Three Guard Roundout Brigades," National Guard, Dec 90, p. 4.

61 Draft MS, National Guard Bureau (NGB), ARNG After Action Report, Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, Part III, Chronology of Events: 2 August 1990-28 February 1991, 2 Jun 91 (hereafter cited as NGB Chron); Maj. Jean Marie Beall, "48th Infantry Brigade: Ready, Willing, and Able for Combat," National Guard, Apr 91, p. 18.

62 Ibid.

63 Beall, "48th Infantry Brigade," pp. 18-19.

64 "Infantry Brigade Gets New Leader as Training for Gulf Role Drags On," Washington Post, 15 Feb 91, p; 34; HQ, Second U.S. Army, PAO, Press Release, 48th Brigade Gets New Commander, 15 Feb 91.

65 Briefing Slides, DCSOPS, 155th Armored Brigade-Training and Readiness, n.d., Memorandum for the Record (MFR), Capt John R. Minihan, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army (OCSA), 11 Mar 91, sub: House Armed Services Committee 8 Mar 91, CINCFOR/Director of the National Guard Bureau/Cdrs of Three Roundout Brigades, Reserve Component Roundout Issues (hereafter cited as Minihan MFR); Information Paper, National Guard Bureau, 7 Dec 90, sub. Roundout Units to the 5th Infantry Division (Mech).

66 Memo, Lt Col Glenn O. Cassidy for Lt Col Carlson, 11 Mar 91, sub: Congressional Hearing, 8 Mar 91.

67 Minihan MFR.

68 Information Paper, National Guard Bureau, 6 Feb 91, sub; Unauthorized Absence of 1st Bn., 156th Armor Personnel; information Paper, DAPE-MO-PCC, 15 Feb 91, sub: AWOL Incident, 256th Infantry Brigade, Fort Hood.

69 Ibid.

70 Information Paper, DAPE-MO-PCC, 15 Feb 91, sub: AWOL Incident, 256th Infantry Brigade, Fort Hood.

71 The 48th Brigade completed its demobilization on 10 April, the 256th Brigade on 7 May, and the 155th on 14 May 1991.

72 Minihan MFR.

73 Statement by Lt Gen John B. Conaway, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Before the Defense Policy Panel, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, 102d Cong., 1st sess., 8 March 1991, Record Version.

74 NGB Chron, pp. 36-37.

75 J. Paul Scicchitano, "National Guard Combat Troops Mobilized," Army Times, 3 Dec 90.

76 ibid.

77 NGB Chron, pp. 42, 52, 58.

78 Ibid., pp. 52, 58.

79 Title 10, USC, Sec. 673.

80 Memo, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney for Secretaries of the Military Departments and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 19 Jan 90; Fact Sheet, Department of the Army, OSD-RA-PS, 18 Jan 91, sub: President Approves Ready Reserve Call-Up Authority.

81 Information Paper, Lt Col Fritz, DAAR-FMF, 9 Feb 91, sub: USAR Training Units Activated for DESERT STORM.

82 Information Paper, Lt Col Fritz, DAAR-FMF, 18 Dec 90, sub: Tasking of 4159th USAR School (-).

page updated 7 June 2001

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